HOW TO PREVENT BACK PAIN WHEN DRIVING…

The Foray Motor Group have written some of the best tips on how to prevent back pain when driving. It includes some of my own tips and others from Back on site, and Active Backs.

The main top tips include :

Tips for avoiding back pain while driving

  • Make sure your car is road worthy
  • Adjust your sitting position
  • Utilise lumbar support
  • Use heated seats
  • Be careful getting in and out of the car
  • Ice your back
  • Take regular breaks

“If your car happens to have heated seats, it’s definitely a good idea to make good use of them in your quest to prevent back pain. Heat has the great benefit of relaxing tight joints and muscles, helping blood flow to the area applied to, and therefore relieving pain. So next time you are out on a long drive and perhaps are starting to feel a little uncomfortable, consider turning that seat on. Barbara McLullich from Back Pain Blog – the personal journey of a chronic back pain sufferer – offers this advice: “I am a true advocate of heat while travelling so if your car does not have heated seats then buy a heat pad to pop on your back. You can buy these from a chemist and most last up to eight hours. Also, have some heat pads ready to use after your journey.”

Be careful getting in and out of the car

Another important thing to consider is the simple fact of how you get in and out of the car as this can have ramifications for your back health. Explaining what to be aware of and how you can help yourself, Barbara from Back Pain Blog says: “Pay attention to how you get in and out of the car. Sit down facing the door and swing both legs into the car. Getting out is the reverse. If this is too uncomfortable to do, you can buy swivel cushions to help you turn around.”

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PLEASE OFFER ME A SEAT AVAILABLE IN CERTAIN AREAS…

In the event that you battle to stand while using open transport, there is a free identification badge which enables you to alarm others that you need a seat.

A considerable number of people have conditions or a sickness but have nothing to show about there condition are in need of a seat on all forms of transport. With this badge you don’t have to clarify your purpose behind the badge but you should be offered a seat.

Around 78 per cent of people who carry the TfL badge say that they now find it a lot easier to get a seat on the bus or Tube. But this is a London-centred scheme. With more than one in six people in the UK have an ‘activity limiting’ condition, accounts from across the UK generally paint a picture of inaccessibility and discomfort on public transport for those with invisible conditions.

If you see someone with a badge or card and you are seated, they say you should stand and offer them your seat. While there are priority seats on public transport, they would like to encourage all customers in any seat, to be considerate and offer their seat to those that are less able to stand.

I am surprised it has taken so long for this to be developed but just reading the difference it has made to people suffering from MS, cancer, being pregnant, to name a few. I just hope it won’t be long before other councils follow suit. If your council has launched this please let us know in a comment for others to take advantage of it.

Not all local councils cover this badge but it might be just worth writing to yours if you cannot find anything online. The ones I found were London, Greater Manchester, and Network West Midlands.

THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BACK PAIN…

1. Acute Pain

Acute Pain is a pain that lasts less than 3 to 6 months, or pain directly related to tissue damage. This is the type of pain caused by a paper cut or needle prick. Other examples of acute pain are like labour pains, the pain is acute and identifiable.

Acute low back pain is defined as a pain present for up to six weeks. It could feel like an aching, stabbing, burning, or dull pain. The actual intensity of this type of low back pain could range from mild to severe and could fluctuate or move to other areas of your body like your hip or thigh area.

2. Chronic Pain

Chronic pain describes pain that lasts more than three to six months, or beyond the point of tissue healing. Chronic pain is usually less directly related to identifiable tissue damage and structural problems. Chronic back pain without a clearly determined cause, failed back surgery syndrome (continued pain after the surgery has completely healed), and fibromyalgia are all examples of chronic pain. Chronic pain is much less well understood than acute pain.

Chronic pain can take many forms, but is often described as a pain with an identifiable cause, such as an injury. Certain structural spine conditions, including degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis, can cause ongoing pain until they are successfully treated.

3. Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain could be placed in the chronic pain category, but it has a different feel than chronic musculoskeletal pain. The pain is often described as severe, sharp, lightning-like, stabbing, burning, or cold. The individual may also experience ongoing numbness, tingling, or weakness. Pain may be felt along the nerve path from the spine down to the arms/hands or legs/feet.

It is thought that the pain is caused by damage or disease affecting the somatosensory nervous system. Neuropathic pain may be associated with abnormal sensations called dysesthesia or pain from normally non-painful stimuli (allodynia). It may have continuous and/or episodic (paroxysmal) components.

ACUPUNCTURE THE LATEST TREATMENT FOR FIBROMYALGIA…

The theory and practice of acupuncture originated in China. It was first mentioned and recorded in documents dating a few hundred years before the Common Era. Earlier instead of needles sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used around 6000 BCE for acupuncture treatment.

The word “acupuncture” means “needle piercing”. It is a traditional Chinese medical treatment using very fine needles, which are inserted into the skin at any of the 800 specially-designated points. It originated from a Dutch physician, William Ten Rhyne, who had been living in Japan during the latter part of the 17th century and it was he who introduced it to Europe.

A study conducted at Sheffield University in the UK looked at the long-term symptom reduction and economic benefits of acupuncture for persistent pain, An average of 8 acupuncture treatments was given to 159 people, while 80 received usual care instead.

After one year, people receiving acupuncture had reduced pain and reported significant reduction in worry about their pain compared to the usual care group. After two years, the acupuncture group was significantly more likely to report that the past year had been pain free. They were less likely to use medication for pain.

A scientific explanation is that acupuncture releases natural pain-relieving opioids, sends signals that calm the sympathetic nervous system, and releases neurochemicals and hormones.

Dove Press wrote that ‘A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials’, showed that ‘Acupuncture therapy is an effective and safe treatment for patients with FM, and this treatment can be recommended for the management of FM.’

Without balance in our bodies, there are many health-related problems we can encounter and having an Acupuncture treatment can help to restore your body systems to the right balance. They are quite often referred to as Yin (which is negative) and Yang (which is positive).

The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist’s explains how Acupuncture works. The acupuncture needle will stimulate the flow of QI [pronounced ‘chee’], which circulates in channels or meridians within the body. The QI circulates within the deeper organs of the body but connects to the superficial skin. In the state of a normal healthy body, a balance exists between these systems. Both the superficial energy and the deeper energy can be influenced by the stimulation of specific acupuncture points. If injury, disease, emotional trauma or infection occurs, the natural flow of QI within the meridians and organs may well be affected and the result is an altered flow, either a slowing or stagnation of QI causing pain and inflammation, or a deficit of QI, which may cause weakness, exhaustion and longer debilitating disease. The stimulation of relevant acupuncture points may free stagnation, reduce excess or indeed, increase QI to the specific area or organ and thus help to restore normal QI flow and balance.

10 HABITS THAT CAUSE BACK PAIN…

This infographic from Inversion Table Review Blog has 10 very important habits that can cause back pain.

They are simple every day movements that can greatly affect your back.

Sitting for too long is the classic one and one I think young children are doing far too much of that nowadays.

Having poor posture. When we were young you were awarded posture belts for good posture at school. They don’t seem to do that now.

Skipping exercise. Again the younger generation seem to prefer to sit with their iPhones which seems to have become the norm now.

Overlooking an unhealthy diet. With so many ready meals available, it has also become the norm to just buy a meal to pop in your microwave or oven but until home cooking is taught from an early age I don’t think this will alter quickly.

Sleeping on an old mattress. This is a fairly new idea to alleviate back pain. We do change ours regularly but was something that you probably didn’t do years ago,

Wearing high heels. I’m afraid I was very guilty of that but the fashion now is easy to follow in low or flat heels when not out on the town.

Letting stress build up. This is something I have written about before and is definitely applicable for people in any type of pain.

Watching too much tv. I guess this applies to point three and skipping exercise as so many people just watch some of screen for hours on end.

Ignoring back pain. This is very very important as the longer you leave it before you seek advice or help the harder it will be to sort the problem out.